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At least 19 dead, 23 injured in Chile bus-truck accident

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nine of the injured were in critical condition, the nation's health minister said
  • The accident occurred on a highway in Talagante, near the nation's capital
  • The bus and truck drivers were among the dead, officials said

Santiago, Chile (CNN) -- At least 19 people died and 23 were injured in a Tuesday morning crash between a truck and a bus on a highway near Chile's capital, officials said.

Nine of the injured are in extremely critical condition, Health Minister Jaime Manalich said in a TV interview.

The accident occurred on the Autopista del Sol highway in Talagante, a city southeast of Santiago, the capital. Officials said a tour bus crashed with a cargo truck, and both vehicles fell into a ditch as a result of the impact.

The bus and truck drivers were among the dead, officials said.

Manalich asked Talagante residents to refrain from going to the emergency rooms of local hospitals if possible because the facilities are overrun with accident patients.

The cause had not been immediately determined, authorities said.